A senior official in the Tunisian interior ministry denied on Saturday night that there were any potential terror threats against Jews or Israelis in the country, hours after Israel’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau issued a terror alert, warning Jews not to visit Tunisia due to information of terror plots that may be conducted this coming week.
The alert particularly warned about the possibility of an attack on the Jewish holiday of Lag Ba’Omer, which will occur this Thursday.
Thousands of pilgrims visit the tombs of famous rabbis for Lag Ba’Omer, including on Tunisia’s holiday island of Djerba, where one of the last Jewish communities in the Arab world still lives.
Several thousand Jews from France and Israel make the trip to the island every year, where 19 people died in an attack on the ancient El Ghriba synagogue in 2002 blamed on Al-Qaeda.
The Tunisian official, who asked not to be named, told the AFP news agency, “We have nothing on that. There are no threats.”
The official insisted the police and army were ready to ensure security.
“All measures have been taken… to ensure the success of the pilgrimage to El Ghriba,” the official said.
There have been recent indications of the terrorist activity in Tunisia amidst the chaotic political situation characterized by Islamist militias vying for power, as a large arms cache potentially gathered ahead of an attack was discovered last month in the central town of Sidi Bouzid.
In March a separate bureau warning noted that recent attacks in Belgium, France, Denmark, Canada and Australia all “raise concerns over additional attacks against Western targets, including Jewish and Israeli targets.”